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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Whitaker Center

Faculty Support & University Reform


The Center provides a wide variety of assistance to university faculty with an interest in improving undergraduate and graduate education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The following services are available to interested faculty:

Professional Development Workshops (includes SPARCT - see below) 
Cross-Discipline and Cross-College Collaborative Seminars
Professional Travel

Outreach projects:  SRO, STEM Institute

Current Projects

NSF-WIDER:  STEM Professional Academy for Reinvigorating the Culture of Teaching (SPARCT)

The Whitaker Center was recently awarded a Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms (WIDER) award from the National Science Foundation that provides summer salary to STEM faculty teaching introductory STEM courses at Florida Gulf Coast University to train in evidence-based practices and course design. By participating in SPARCT, faculty will gain skills to guide principles for change in STEM instruction.  SPARCT is designed to combine content experts with educational experts to strengthen pedagogical understanding and serve as a model program for other universities.  Stay tuned to this website and your departments for more information regarding the faculty application process!

Past Projects and Grants

  • Participating in Project FIRST an NSF sponsored, national, professional development project
  • Supporting the development of an undergraduate secondary education degree with concentrations in science and mathematics
  • Hosting regular cross-college seminars to explore and share practices in teaching science, engineering and mathematics
  • Funding from an NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant that has purchased science research equipment that supports active inquiry learning in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education